Daily Harvest -- 11/11/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Candidates call for killing sugar program, WOTUS rule
- A Republican presidential candidate called for eliminating the sugar program to help pay for the military, and other challengers tangled over trade policy and whether it's practical or good politics to deport 11 million illegal immigrants.
Agri-Pulse: Local foods get focus as USDA awards farm grants
- Small farms and processors across the country as well as some major agricultural cooperatives have been awarded Agriculture Department grants to expand or start new businesses.
National Geographic: How Corn—and the People Who Grow it—Will Change With the Climate
- Prosperity around the world, particularly in developing countries, has increased pressure to grow more crops that are easy to scale, like corn and soybeans. Some of that is to feed people, although most of it is to feed cows, chickens, and pigs.
The New Yorker: The Gene Hackers
- CRISPR has two components. The first is essentially a cellular scalpel that cuts DNA. The other consists of RNA, the molecule most often used to transmit biological information throughout the genome.
New York Times: The Crispr Quandary
- A new gene-editing tool might create an ethical morass — or it might make revising nature seem natural.
Wall Street Journal: Grain, Soybean Prices Fall to Multiweek Lows
- Grain and soybean prices tumbled to multiweek lows Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast larger domestic production and supplies than analysts expected.
Des Moines Register: USDA: Iowa corn, soybean crops exceed forecast
- Iowa's corn crop will reach nearly 2.5 billion bushels this year, and the soybean crop will climb to nearly 550 million bushels, both records, based on a U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast released Tuesday.
Agri-Pulse: Driven by demand, oil prices will recover, despite renewables surge
- (Subscriber only) One certainty about U.S. and world oil prices, and consequently energy prices overall, is to expect continuing volatility.
Agri-Pulse: Candidates get mid term report card on RFS
- (Audio) America's Renewable Future released a mid-term report card on 17 presidential candidates.
San Bernardino County Sun: Final draft of Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan released
- Federal and state officials Tuesday released a final draft of the federal portion of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Officials call the plan, which covers about 22.5 million acres of federal and non-federal California desert land, an unprecedented cooperative effort to manage where California’s renewable energy conservation projects.
FOOD & NUTRITION
New York Times: Supreme Court Hears Tyson Foods Class-Action Labor Case
- Facing a Supreme Court generally hostile to class actions, thousands of workers at an Iowa pork processing plant may nevertheless have found a narrow path toward victory at an argument on Tuesday, one that would allow them to band together in a single lawsuit seeking overtime pay.
Wall Street Journal: The Climate Agenda Behind the Bacon Scare
- (Opinion) With United Nations climate talks beginning in a few weeks in Paris, the cancer warning seems particularly well timed. Environmental activists have long sought to tie food to the fight against global warming.
Chicago Sun-Times: Fast food protesters set sights on presidential candidates
- Workers from McDonald’s, Taco Bell and other chain restaurants protested in cities around the country Tuesday to push fast food companies to pay them at least $15 an hour. The protesters also had a message for presidential candidates: Support the cause or lose their vote next year.
New York Times: Tasting and Testing a Genetically Modified, Non-Browning Apple
- Innovations in biotech crops aren’t known for getting children excited, but there is a new fruit trait on its way to the market that families may appreciate and children may actually notice. It’s a genetically modified apple that doesn’t turn brown when it is bruised or sliced.
KOMO News: Chipotle reopening all Northwest restaurants after outbreak
- Chipotle said Tuesday that it is reopening the 43 Pacific Northwest restaurants it closed amid an E. coli outbreak after tests at the Mexican food chain came back negative for the bacteria.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: Nigeria Plays Tough Game of Chicken With Smugglers
- Since May, guards manning this gateway to Africa’s largest economy have belatedly begun enforcing a decade-old government directive that chicken and rice—the most popular pairing in Nigerian cuisine—should be made with only locally farmed ingredients.
Wall Street Journal: The Way Forward on TPP
- (Opinion) As advocates and opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership ponder the agreement’s 30 chapters and various side agreements released last week, skeptical American lawmakers must decide whether and when to approve the deal.
Reuters: Cutting down on the spice, South Korea cheese imports soar as trade deals open door
- While Japan is by far the biggest consumer of cheese in Asia, neighboring South Korea is one of the fastest-growing markets, and top suppliers such as the United States and New Zealand hope to sell even more as free trade deals cut tariffs.
New York Times: In Ireland, Milk Chocolate Reigns
- More than 95 percent of the approximately 1.1 million dairy cows in Ireland feed on extremely green grass that grows in abundance because of the relatively temperate climate year-round. Their diet makes for milk that’s more cream-colored than white and tastes especially rich and luscious.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
U.S. News & World Report: Report says federal forest restoration work has increased, but still falling behind
- The U.S. Forest Service says it has increased the pace and scale of its forest restoration work since 2011, but progress waned this year and the agency risks falling further behind without more resources.
Washington Post: India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives
- The menace of cookstove pollution, which contains high concentrations of tiny particles known as black carbon, does not stop in the home. It compounds many environmental problems as well, from glacial melt to falling crop yields.
Washington Post: Indonesia uses trained elephants to control forest fires
- Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help control fires that have claimed vast amounts of forest while sending thick haze into neighboring countries.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Obama appealing immigration ruling
- The Justice Department will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to save the Obama administration's plan for allowing millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
The Packer: Back pay compromise leaves some growers exposed
- United Farm Workers is publicizing a statewide drive in California to get farm workers “millions in back pay for unpaid rest periods” and unpaid “nonproductive time.”
Grist: Farm bill favors corporations and ignores people of color
- This likely won’t be surprising to anyone who isn’t white, but a new report from U.C. Berkeley shows that the U.S. government has a long history of favoring corporations and white farm owners over people of color.
Reuters: Monsanto cuts quarterly earnings guidance, shares drop
- Monsanto expects to lose 23 to 33 cents a share in its fiscal first quarter of 2016, dragged by restructuring costs, pricing pressures on its herbicide glyphosate, slower-than-expected U.S. corn seed sales and a weak currency in Brazil, a top executive said on Tuesday.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: AP FACT CHECK: Flubs and funny numbers in a policy-thick GOP debate on the economy
- Ben Carson botched the economic effect of minimum wage increases. Jeb Bush again pitched a dubious target for economic growth. And Marco Rubio, in a tale about plumbers and philosophers, undersold the value of a college education.
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